50 Tips and Suggestions for Magic Practitioners’ Events This Summer

Summer is here and many of us have events like Pagan Pride and local coven parties to attend. Or, you’re thinking of maybe throwing together a witchy cookout or get together. But events can go wrong very quickly when there’s a lot of people involved. Here’s some things to consider.

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Rhode Island Pagan Pride 2013

17 tips and suggestions for planning, setting up, packing for the event, or getting to the event

  1. Be really clear on on the dates, locations, and directions. Ask a five year old if they can understand it if you’re unsure. Also be clear where to buy tickets, if tickets are necessary, what, where, and to whom donations can be made (whether food or money).
  2. Arrive early vendors and make sure your paperwork is covered. Bring extra water, food, and a spare chair in case something tragic happens to yours or a friend stops by. Be very clear on whether you are cash only, card only, or both. Have cash on hand just in case. And don’t forget to set online shops to vacation or whatever/watch the inventory so you don’t oversell and disappoint customers.
  3. Carpooling is a great as parking is usually a mess. However, be super cautious when carpooling with strangers.
  4. Double and triple check public transportation routes and fares. You might want to even consider emailing, calling, facebooking, or tweeting your public transportation folks to ensure that the area is being serviced.
  5. If you’re going somewhere alone, let someone know where you’re going to be. Even if it’s just your internet friends.
  6. Park in well-lit areas if possible and lock up your car’s windows, trunk, and doors. Keep valuables out of view of windows. Yes, anti-thief spells are nice. But so are locks.
  7. Bring a device charger. Solar chargers are getting better and better now and they’re priced just about as much as a regular charger. If not, at least bring one to plug into a wall. Even if the event is at a campground there’s bound to be someone with something you can plug into to charge your device with.
  8. For the love of the gods and spirits, wear sun protection like sunblock, hat, sunglasses, and so on. And hey, bug spray usually won’t go amiss either.
  9. Bring cash in small bills. Many shops do take cards now but cash is often appreciated.
  10. Biodegradable serviceware! I’m not just talking about cups. Everything from plates, bowls, forks, knives, spoons, straws, take-home boxes, delivery boxes, and yes cups are made with biodegradable plastics or materials now. Some are better than others so do your research. But this is HUGE and I’m SUPER disappointed I don’t see this more at events. Like, do you know how easy it is for a practitioner to pick up your used cup and use it as object in a spell? Having a biodegradable cup can really muddy the waters when trying to do a spell (especially if the cup is made with seeds). Plus it helps the environment! Yup, it’s more expensive (usually) but then you don’t have a plastic cup sitting out there for years if you missed it during clean-up.
  11. Do not put non-edible things in community shared food. It’s one thing to do it at a private dinner where it’s expected but it’s entirely another where it’s a community event and you can’t be sure you’ve told every single person not everything is edible.
  12. Write down ALL ingredients included in a recipe. Also write down if you enchanted it or if those ingredients used have been enchanted (like if you grew the plants in your garden and poured fertility magic into it… uh, mention that?) This isn’t just for magical needs but also for things like allergies, medical disorders, or religious observances.
  13. Wear sensible shoes. Actually, just wear shoes. I personally love/hate shoes and yet they stay on my feet at events. Amazing concept.
  14. While first aid kits, safety kits, and properly trained attendants of first aid centers essential for community events, this leaves aside the whole aspect of magical needs. What if someone can’t find a lighter for a ritual to be performed in five minutes in front of the whole community? What if someone is super negative and you need to cleanse yourself right there and then? What if you need a spell, stat? What if your special event garb rips? Build an emergency kit to cover your needs. It can be as small as an Altoid’s tin or as large as a whole bag.
  15. Note keeping is rarely mentioned in these lists and it’s a shame. A lot of fun ideas and information is thrown around at these events. Keep a small notebook and pen on you to write down information like website names, emails, phone numbers, or terms to research later. You can also use your smartphone by texting yourself or a note keeping app.
  16. Casting some spells to find your things, look more attractive, be confident, or draw customers? Don’t go overboard. If your spells are super forceful, people will feel that and either ignore you (because rude to do that) or can even become ill.
  17. Bring drinks. Yes, you can usually buy something there but BRING DRINKS. And if you bring your vendor friends’ coffee they will probably thank you immensely.

Food and magical practitioners have a long, long history. Many of us love food and drink and often incorporate it in our magic. Some even work solely in the kitchen. But there’s a downside to this: we don’t know if anyone’s enchanting our food or drink without permission. Many practitioners are somewhat wary about dining with other practitioners, especially when food is being brought in or privately made. Here’s some more magic related tips to consider when planning an event.

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Rhode Island Pagan Pride 2013

18 tips and suggestions for how to act while at the event

  1. Never, ever leave your drink or food unattended. If you can’t take it with you, leave it. If you leave for some reason and plan on coming back, as a trusted friend to watch it. And even then that should be avoided.
  2. This community, like all communities, has our assholes and predators. Call them out on it as needed and ensure the safety of everyone around you. If you feel creeped out, tell them to go away. And don’t be afraid to call or scream for help if you need to. If they insist on contact information, give them a fake. You are NEVER obliged to give out your information or anything. Not even the damn time. Never.
  3. Do not feed the wildlife. Do not litter. Do not spray the environment with chemical sprays unless explicitly told you can. And watch for poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
  4. Help each other out. Seriously, if someone is uncomfortable looking talking to someone, go over and join into the conversation. At worst you’ll be considered rude and told to butt out. At best you saved someone from a harmful situation. This is especially true with minors.
  5. Remember not everyone has perfect physical mobility and just because someone looks healthy doesn’t mean they are. Ask if they would like help and don’t help if they say no.
  6. Do NOT touch someone’s clothing, hair, body, animals, or things without their explicit permission. This is basic common courtesy.
  7. Community elder does NOT mean they are entitled to anything, least of all special treatment, discounts, or even your respect. Treat them as everyone else and let them earn your respect with their actions and wisdom rather than be expected to comply because they’re a pillar of the community.
  8. Keep an eye on your weaponry. Yes, that athame is very pretty. Yes, it’s very much part of the ritual you plan on performing as a part of the event. No, it should not be swung around like you’re in a hack and slash game and it should not be handed to children.
  9. You are not at home. Don’t treat it that way. Please shower and by hygienic when you arrive. Please remember your manners. No, not everyone is family and you shouldn’t treat strangers with familiarity like that unless they say it’s OK.
  10. Tip your fortune tellers. This depends on the event and reader. Often times if you’re paying the reader individually, then it’s not often expected. If they’re being paid by the event, the event takes a cut, they squeeze you in, or they’re doing it for donations/fun then tip them. Even a dollar or pocket changes goes a long way.
  11. Do not ask someone to do a psychic reading or perform for you. It’s ridiculously rude unless that person offers or are selling their services. Furthermore, why would they open themselves up at an event where there’s so much energy being thrown around? Why would they do that to themselves. Don’t be afraid to say no, if you’re the person being asked. You also don’t have to agree to have such a service performed if you don’t want it.
  12. Be mindful of minors when holding discussions that involve graphic sex or violence descriptions. And yes, some of them probably do need to be there. If your parent is working the event and can’t find a babysitter for a Saturday, guess who’s tagging along at said event? I’m not saying don’t talk. I’m saying don’t tell someone in graphic detail about your sexcapde the night before in a public forum unless that forum is specifically for adults and/or a community catering to that.
  13. Not everyone is an extrovert. Some people really do just prefer sitting back and watch than participating in an event. They like it even. Do NOT pull someone into an event if they don’t want to be.
  14. Be nice to the beginners, children, teenagers, and newbies; they’re learning. That being said, you don’t have to correct them, you don’t have to be nice, and you don’t have to teach them, especially if they’re toxic to you. Some people need a hard truth to learn. Also, not all beginners are young. Some people come into this much later in life.
  15. Remember, some people simply do not want to learn or change. You might as well be arguing with a wall. Learn when to disengage and walk away. Let them win. Fools never recognize when they’re wrong.
  16. Remember not everyone practices the way you do. While your religion may say you can only practice one way and there’s only one truth, that does NOT mean you get to degrade, bully, insult, or be an asshat to anyone else. Also, bashing other religions like Christianity is petty, unnecessarily, and absolutely spreading the same toxic behavior you’re claiming they’re giving you.
  17. Burning incense or candles at an event? Be kind and post a little sign on what you’re burning! Not only is it great for businesses to advertise that you sell it but you can also popularize the smell. Scent and smoke sensitive folks will especially thank you.
  18. You are not entitled to ANY information from anyone. You are not entitled.
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Rhode Island Pagan Pride 2013

15 tips and suggestions for after the event and clean up

  1. Clean up the grounds after your event. Even the trash that isn’t yours. This includes your animal’s deficantions.
  2. Check for all your stuff and money before you leave the event. Often times if you lose something you won’t have access to that site to even look for it later.
  3. Just because you met someone at an event doesn’t mean you’re entitled to talk to them again, have their time, or their attention.
  4. Update websites after the event is over, community organizers. Apologize for things that went wrong, list any shops that made an appearance, and consider a missed connections forum of some kind so people can reconnect after the event.
  5. Take down any photos of people who request them taken down and ask give names to people and events so others know what was happening when and who was there.
  6. Do not include people in your prayers or workings if you met them at the event. Ask them again in private outside of the event if they want to be included.
  7. Ground and cleanse yourself after the event as needed. Some amazing energy can be raised there and some really crappy energy can be as well. Do it to your tools and things too.
  8. Do not be a creep and try to excessively hit on, stalk, or harass someone you saw at the event. Especially do not do this to minors. It’s one thing to contact someone and follow their social media but it’s wholly another to continually contact them when they don’t respond or ask you to go away.
  9. Shop owners, do an inventory. Yes, right away. That night or the next day. If you don’t and find out you’re missing a whole box of stuff two weeks later there is incredibly little that can be done about it.
  10. Reconnect with people that interest you or groups. Maybe group work isn’t your thing or their style isn’t what you thought it would be but supporting your local community is often the best way to connect with them.
  11. Supporting your local community is a strong ideal. However, you do not have to support a local community if it won’t support you or has toxic behavior.
  12. Didn’t see a shop or person at an event and think that’s weird? Check out why. It could be some personal drama or that person could have a real serious reason why they didn’t attend right down to what the event supports or the event excluding someone for some reason. Knowing your community politics is a good way of avoiding being dragged into them.
  13. Give feedback! Make suggestions on what you’d like to see next year and what events you really enjoyed.
  14. Some traditions or covens are specific on who can join in. Just because they did an event doesn’t mean that they’re looking for new members or you’re eligible to join in.
  15. Just because someone’s culturally appropriating something doesn’t mean that you can do that too. Nor does it mean you should instantly berate them. Inform them after the event is done so you can provide insight from the cultures involved and links for additional information. Starting an argument onsite it not the way to go about it and puts someone immediately on the defensive. The exception to this is if they’re being racist or extremely toxic in some way.

There you have it! 50 tips and suggestions for magic practitioners to keep in mind this summer. Some of these are super general and can be applied to any event and others are more specific. So followers, what tips, tricks, suggestions, and secrets do you have to share about event going?

Road Trip! Rhode Island to New Orleans and Back Again!

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll notice that it’s September and almost October. You may have noticed that by checking the calendar but more likely you’ve noticed that because the autumn tumblr posts are back.

For those of you who were paying special attention you have connected that with my RI-NOLA-RI road trip (coming up in 10 days) so some of you on the East Coast of the US are probably even partially excited by that.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, let me give you the summary: Between September 30th through October 8th I will be on a road trip from Rhode Island (where I live) down the eastern seaboard to New Orleans (via Florida) and then back. During the trip I may make requested stops and hold meet ups for tumblrites.

OK, so that’s cool. Where are you stopping? My mum and I are spontaneous – we have literally nothing planned but a general direction, a budget, and I’ve a few cities that I intend to stop in (for meet ups or tourist bullshit.) If YOU have a place you want me to stop at or can recommend, send an ask or email.

So far the following places have been decided (dates are COMPLETE estimates and absolutely NOT guaranteed):

  • Gettysburg, PA (9/30-10/1)
  • Washington, DC. (10/1)
  • Richmond, VA (10/2)

How will this effect YOU?

  • I will be on the internet less and answering asks and emails less, if at all.
  • The shop will remain open but ONLY for divination/tarot readings.
  • I technically legally can’t do divinations for those in Pennsylvania or North Carolina. That doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t but legally I shouldn’t.

That’s cool, that’s cool. How can I help?

Want to follow along with the road trip? The BEST way to do that is my twitter although facebook and tumblr will get some love too.

Rhode Island Pagan Pride Day 2014

Sunday August 16th, was Rhode Island Pagan Pride Day (RIPPD). For those of you who don’t know, last year I presented a workshop on secular witchcraft at RIPPD. This year I didn’t present or vend because I didn’t have time to get something together before the event given the severe resurgence of my sleeping disorder beforehand.

Anyway, a friend of mine was vending his spa products so I had a definite reason to make an appearance. More than that, I believe in supporting my local community – not just for the vendors but also the local pagan community.

For those who visited RIPPD last year, know it was far smaller this year. Which saddens me. It’s really hard to support the local community when the community is so disorganized that major vendors don’t want to participate.

I happened to visit a major new age store the day before RIPPD to pick up herbal supplies. The owner of the store was manning the counter and when asked if she was going, she told us that she has issues with RIPPD and one of them was the location. RIPPD isn’t held in Providence but an out-of-the-way place in East Providence. Previously to that it was held in Bristol. Not only is the location a problem but RIPPD is, apparently notoriously disorganized.

Rhode Island Pagan Pride Day, August 11, 2013 – a review

Or, hell yes RIPPD

Ginandjack and a RI PPD Program

Ginandjack and I were running late. Having both slept in a bit more than we had planned, I swung by his place to pick him up and grab some breakfast at Dunkin Donuts (which is so very Rhode Island I can’t even).  A quick visit to the ATM and a hustle back to my house to stock up the Hakuryuu the Jeep before heading out.

Water was loaded up by the metal container into the cooler alongside a simple pasta salad, homemade pastries, and a pair of peaches. Finally, we doused ourselves with lemongrass and eucalyptus bug spray and 70+SPF sunblock.

As no one contacted me for a lift to the event I hadn’t bothered putting the rear seat back in. The truck was filled with our cooler, some emergency supplies, the speaker, a blanket, and Nella, the citronella plant I intended to plop on the table during my workshop so I would a) have a prop and b) won’t be attacked by insects in the near-swamp.

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The road facing away from the Sportsman Club and towards the Wampanoag Trail.

RIPPD was being held in our hometown. It was easy for us to rumble and rattle our way down the Wampanaog Trail to the nearly hidden street of Mohawk Drive (or Sportmans Drive. Depends on who you ask.). Narrow and broken, we slowed to a roll and parked alongside the road. We decided to leave most of our crap in the Jeep and took only our wallets with us.

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The view of the Sportsman Club and the event site, plus a glance of the Jeep from the road.

The first thing we saw was the Noble Knots food truck, a coffee truck who’s name escapes me, and the RI Blood Bank truck. (Later, we ended up having to move the Jeep to a small field because the blood truck had to leave and the cars were blocking the way. Oops. Poor planning on their part.)

The building itself is a single floor with three steps up (a side entrance for the physically imparied with a ramp). White and narrow, the inside was two rooms, plus a tiny hallway with bathrooms and the kitchen. I don’t have images of the inside, but they were mostly small table full of jewelry, some cloaks, and Familiar Spirits, the state’s only New Orleans’ style Hoodoo shop. The Witches’ Almanac was also inside, which I adore and highly recommend for folks who are looking for an alternative to the Llewellyn almanacs available.

We made our way to the Welcoming Tent where I was immediately recognized by Dayna, the workshop coordinator (also, an absolutely adorable and sweet person.) Once I got my program and name tag (which I refused to wear. It’s a thing.) Ginandjack and I started to wander and see what there was to see.

The location was gorgeous and larger than we imagined. The workshop tents were on separate corners of the little field behind the building, past a cement patio with a fire pit. There was plenty of space for large rituals, which was where they were also held. In the distance, you could see the marshy waters of the river opening up to the sea and hawks flew high above, circling in their habitat. The Sportmans’ Club is down the street from a wetland bird sanctuary, often used for hiking and relaxing by locals.

I think my only complaint about the grounds were the rampant amount of poison ivy, cut down but still present and the lack of seating. Other than the ground, there were no seating arranged unless you snag a chair from the workshops. Likewise, there were only tables to stand at. This sadden me because unless I plopped down on the grass, I couldn’t chat or do readings on a whim as I would normally do at get togethers. Perhaps next time. It was the first time at this location so live and learn.

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Vendors 1, including a patch of signs that may or may not leave to Night Vale.

On the other side of the building, past the food trucks, were the tents for vendors.

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Second image of the vendors. There’s more along the right but you get the idea.

The vendors themselves were mixed. A lot of jewelry, a very nice booth with stones, some mish-mash witchy stuff, soaps and aromatherapy, a few information booths, herbal products, handmade mirrors, and some statuary. It’s pretty much as you’d expect. I didn’t end up buying a thing as either I could make the things offered or they didn’t appeal to me. Gin picked up a few things here and there. For each of the purchases we strolled back to the Jeep to stow it securely in the Jeep’s lockbox before heading back in.

Unlike other Pagan Pride Days, there was a definite lack of entertainment. No music was played outside of the occasional snippets of song by a person or during ritual. It was peaceful but I’ve come to expect some music for PPD, and all events really, but since I couldn’t come up with any local entertainment either, I can’t really complain about what can’t be found.

We arrived during the Wiccan Opening Ritual performed by a group from the Stang and Cauldron shop. Since Wicca is neither Gin nor my own bag of tricks, we watched, commenting politely and quietly to ourselves, before making another series of rounds bout the vendors.

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The mid-day ritual by the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus, and Pan.

Eventually, we got to chatting with the local Hellenics since Ginandjack is a Hellenic and Dionysian. By Hellenics, I mean not just a random group but of Hellenic but the Hellenic Temple of Apollon Zeus and Pan. A Kemetic also hung out with her “Hellenic cousins” and was quite fun to talk to. We enjoyed their company and spent a good hour or so talking with them, if not more. The Hellenics were also doing the mid-day ritual, which I didn’t participate in due to being secular. I did, however, shoot a few photos and watch. If Ginandjack writes up a thing on his experiences during the ritual, I’ll link it.

I didn’t get close because not only did I not want to be involved, but because I don’t want to mess them up. (If you’re wondering why that might be, well, secrets and spoilers).

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Ginandjack came to find me under one of the tents where I was sitting quietly, watching. The Kemetic we had been talking to came over too, to talk and chat about seers and seership.

Ginandjack and I snagged some water and fruit before hitting the vendors again and discussing what we’d seen and experienced. We said hello to those we passed and wandered about.

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Ginandjack with Nella the citronella plant. Because we don’t mess around and always bring protection.

My workshop on secular witchcraft was at three, so we spent a lot of time wandering until then. Towards quarter of, we meandered back to the Jeep to collect Nella the citronella plant and my notes and handouts.

RIPPD ran two workshops at a time and I was, unfortunately opposite of Raven Morgaine, the owner of Familiar Spirits, whom was talking about Shadow Work. His workshop was packed, of course, but about a dozen people showed up for my own. A dozen people was about average for a workshop at RIPPD so I was pretty happy with the turnout.

Th workshop itself went well. While some of the attendees went away with more questions than answers (which is totally unsurprising since no one except Ginandjack I had spoken to knew what secularism was at all) but all of the attendees were interested and many actively engaged. A few stayed after for discussion before moving on to other things. It was a good hour, in my opinion.

Ginandjack and I talked to a friend who stopped by for a little while before grabbing something else to eat, making a final round of the vendors who were slowly packing up, before scooting out ourselves to hit the beach before the sun set.

I might post my “notes” here so others can see what the workshop entailed, roughly, if folks are interested.

Workshop at Rhode Island Pagan Pride Day!

It’s official. I’ll be doing a workshop called Witchcraft Without Gods: Secular Witchcraft at Rhode Island Pagan Pride Day (RIPPD) this year on August 10th at 3pm at 1 Sportsman Drive/ 1 Mohawk Drive, East Providence, Rhode Island. RIPPD starts at 10am and runs till about 5pm. However, the party can carry on elsewhere, if we are so inclined.

Now to answer some questions some folks have. Answers quoted from coordinator Dayna

1) there is no entrance fee for PPD. We do collect non-perishable food for the RI Food Bank, so if those attending would like to bring a canned good it would be greatly appreciated. There is no fee for attending workshops.

2) Those attending are free to come and go as they please. Our location has a field for vendors and the workshops and an indoor space for those vending items that might be damaged if there is inclement weather.

3) We are happy to have Noble Knots selling food all day at the event and will be creating a dining area with picnic table and chairs outside. People are welcome to bring their own food and drinks. We do ask for no alcohol simply for insurance purposes.

4) Because of the indoor space, we do not have a rain date. In the past we’ve had PPD during a tropical storm and had fun!

5) There is space for people to get together and chat 🙂

6) Pets are welcome outdoors, but not in the main building. The main building does have bathrooms 🙂

Now for me to ramble on a bit.

Pagan Pride Day (PPD) is part of Pagan Pride Project which is a network of these sorts of events. You can find your own nearby event by going to the “where we are’ section of the above link. This is not the only PPD I will be attending this year. I will most likely attend at least one of the Massachusetts ones as well.

Some followers have expressed interest in coming from far away. If you do intend to come and need a ride and/or place to crash, contact me privately.

Transportation: I’ll likely make a stop at Kennedy Plaza in the morning before PPD to pick up anyone who needs a lift to the event. Alternatively, you can take RIPTA bus 60 which will drop you off in front of the side street the event’s being held on. If you’re coming in by train/plane, this can also be arranged. PPD isn’t far from Providence, about fifteen minutes away, so taxis and the like are available. I do recommend carpooling if possible. I’ll double check the location later this month but from what I recall it’s a narrow street and the building doesn’t have too much parking (I really don’t recommend parking on the Wampanoag Trail/Route 114. It’s a heavily traveled. If you intend to carpool and you need a place to leave your cars. My house is also available. I live on a corner so there’s plenty of places to leave your car, especially with the cul-de-sac nearby.

If you’re looking for crash space, my house is open to you. I only ask that you let me know ahead of time. Bringing your own food and booze is perfectly acceptable and I recommend some pocket money in case we all dine out. Remember, I have three cats so you must be able to handle being around them. Similarly, let me know of any allergies you have that I should know about (in case I make food or grow something I can warn you of). The spare bedroom is tentatively claimed, but I have two couches, two chairs, and a lot of floor available. If you’re looking to come a day or so early before the event or stay after, that’s cool too. There’s always a lot of fun things to do in the area. Parks within walking distance, beaches to visit, and if we feel really adventurous, we could travel up to Newport and hit the beaches there. Or whatever.

About the location: I haven’t been in there before but the link has photos. Bring bug repellent. There’s marshland and wetlands all along the Wampanoag Trail/114 which is the road you’ll be traveling. It’s a two-lane, heavily traveled road with a median separating both sides. There are about five turn offs. When traveling, don’t worry about feeling like you went too far. Unless you hit the big white church across from a school and the water. Then you went too far. As noted above, we can’t even decide what road it’s on. 1 Mohawk Drive and 1 Sportsman Lane are the same street. The location itself is called the Sportsman Club and there’s a relatively small white hanging sign indicating as much. It’s the street directly after the apartment complex entrance on the right. If you see the radio towers you’ve gone too far. This is directly next to Seekonk, Mass. (historically, this area has been traded back and forth between RI and MA up until the early 1800s) so don’t panic if you see signs for entering MA. I do 90% of my shopping in MA because of it’s locale.

If you are coming then let me know. We can trade phone numbers/emails to coordinate. Ginandjack will also be in attendance for sure. Don’t be afraid to show up even if you aren’t pagan. It’ll still be a lot of fun. I really hope to see some of you there!

Ahhh I’m really excited!

Plan on coming and want to connect? Need a place to crash/a ride? Contact me!